Searching for Liverpools lost mojo and the Red Star selection mistakes that should not be repeated

Searching for Liverpool\s lost mojo and the Red Star selection mistakes that should not be repeated

The monster Liverpool are missing – and why Adam Lallana has become the scapegoat

• Jürgen Klopp leads inquest following Red Star defeat• Liverpool have won only three of their last nine games

Klopp said Liverpool lost their mojo during the Group C reverse on Tuesday and sought answers from his players on their return to Melwood. Andy Robertson described Liverpools overall form as effective but lacking its usual spark, an analysis supported by the teams best start to a Premier League season yet also a run of three wins in nine matches in all competitions.

Read more The result in Belgrade was Liverpools third consecutive away defeat in the Champions League, the clubs worst run at the highest level of European competition since 1979. A win at Paris Saint-Germain this month combined with a positive result for Napoli at home to Red Star would secure a place in the knockout phase for last seasons beaten finalists.

I think its one of those periods we need to get through, Robertson said. Last season everyone was used to us scoring four or five goals. That cant be possible every single game. At times weve dug out results, in the Premier League more so this season.

Maybe its not been as good to look at but weve been effective at it. Maybe we are missing a bit of a spark in terms of not winning four- or five-nil in most games but if he [Klopp] thinks that then we need to try to get it back. We need to come together as a team and try to give what the gaffer wants, try to get the spark and try to win games more comfortably.

Liverpool have suffered defeat in the Champions League and Carabao Cup while sustaining an impressive challenge to Manchester Citys defence of the Premier League title. Klopps decision to introduce Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Joël Matip into the starting lineup against Red Star arguably contributed to the disjointed display but Robertson denies Liverpools focus has wavered outside the Premier League.

The defender said: Its just games that we havent shown up in. Theyre probably the only ones this season that we havent, for whatever reason. I dont think it determines what competition its in.

Klopp regularly conducts analysis with his players the day after a game, having reviewed the match himself at least twice but Wednesdays debrief assumed a more critical air given the nature of defeat and the precariousness of Liverpools position in the group.

You dont forget about these results quickly, Robertson said. The gaffer, win or lose, always speaks more the day after because thats when he can clear his head and thats where he gets the best out of us.

Liverpools trip to the Parc des Princes on 28 November has assumed greater importance for both teams after this weeks results. Robertson insists Klopps side will be confident of victory despite their poor European away form. Its a tight group and itll go right to the wire, the left-back said. Were still confident well get through but we need to prove that now.

We believe we can win every game, thats always been the case with us. Away from home last season we were very good in the Champions League. This season weve found that a bit difficult. Arguably were still to play the best team away and we need to put in a much better performance than we have done so far.

Arsenal As we have seen over the last two days, there are still plenty of shock results to be found in European competitions and Arsenal and Chelsea will be out to avoid the same fate as Liverpool, who lost 2-0 to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery will be keen to win this match against Sporting as victory will all but guarantee they finish top of the group with two games to spare.

The reverse fixture a fortnight ago was dominated by Arsenal, who had 67 per cent possession and forced the Sporting goalkeeper into making some decent saves before running out 1-0 winners.

The Portuguese side failed to register a single shot on target in that game and have won just twice in their five away domestic league games. They were also fortunate to beat one of the weaker teams in this group, Vorskla Poltava, scoring two injury-time goals to come from behind to win in Ukraine.

Emery will take the chance to rotate his side with Aaron Ramsey, Matteo Guendouzi, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck all likely to start, but they should still be far too strong.

Arsenal have scored at least two goals at the Emirates in seven of their nine matches at home in all competitions, with only Manchester City and Liverpool preventing them from hitting the net at least twice.

That suggests that goals could be on the agenda here. Arsenal are 1/3 to win the match and that looks a fair price but an Arsenal win and more than 2.5 goals to be scored must be considered at 5/6.

Chelsea are in a similar position to Arsenal in that a win in Belarus should ensure that they finish top of Group L.

Maurizio Sarri is likely to rest Eden Hazard, while Cesc Fabregas, Reuben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic are likely to start in midfield. There will probably be wholesale changes in defence too, with Gary Cahill, Davide Zappacosta, Andreas Christensen and Emerson Palmieri all expected to start.

Bate have their domestic league sewn up being 14 points clear with just four games to play but they have struggled at home in Europe, conceding three goals to PSV Eindhoven in the final Champions League qualifying round and four to PAOK Salonika in their only Europa League home match so far.

However, they did score in both those games and they still have a realistic chance of finishing runner-up in this group.

Liverpools shock defeat to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League proves that upsets can happen at European level and Bate may not be the worst 8/1 shots in the world, but the value play could well be a Chelsea win and both teams to score at around 9/4.

Celtic need to avoid defeat in Group B in order to retain any chance of qualifying for the latter stages and there is a suspicion that 3/1 about a home win is just too big.

The Scottish side were forced to field a depleted side when losing 2-0 to Leipzig last month with a number of injuries and suspensions taking their toll, while their away record this season is poor.

However, they have a perfect record in the league at Celtic Park  and have also beaten Rosenborg 1-0 in this group, while in last seasons Champions League they lost by just the odd goal at home to Bayern Munich and Anderlecht.

Celtic have scored 13 goals without reply in their three games since falling to defeat in Germany, including thrashing league leaders Hearts 5-0 at the weekend.

It must be noted that RB Leipzig remain in good form and are chasing a Champions League spot but they have only won two of their five away league matches and look too short at evens.

Steven Gerrards team do not have the finest away record but they will be boosted by the knowledge that Spartak are languishing in eighth in the Russian League and have lost their last four matches at home, three of them against teams below them in the league.

Rangers achieved a fine 2-2 draw away at Villarreal in this competition and were arguably unlucky not to beat these opponents at Ibrox last month. They could provide a touch of value at 5/2 providing Alfredo Morelos can keep his calm in what is likely to be a hostile atmosphere.

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